Research Article Open Access

Identification of Venom-Specific Fingerprints of Clinically Relevant Uruguayan Snakes by MALDI-TOF

Norma Suarez1 and Victor Morais1
  • 1 University of the Republic, Uruguay
American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Volume 15 No. 3, 2019, 119-124

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/ajbbsp.2019.119.124

Published On: 26 July 2019

How to Cite: Suarez, N. & Morais, V. (2019). Identification of Venom-Specific Fingerprints of Clinically Relevant Uruguayan Snakes by MALDI-TOF. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 15(3), 119-124. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajbbsp.2019.119.124

Abstract

Snakebite envenomation is a particular public health problem in many areas of the world, including extensive areas of Latin America. In particular, in Uruguay, snakebite accidents are caused by two snakes of the genus Bothrops: Bothrops alternatus and Bothrops pubescens. The only effective treatment available is the administration of the specific antivenom. Although there is an ELISA that allows the determination of venom in serum samples, the technique does not allow discrimination between the two species and can also generate uncertainty in the case of foreign snakes, highlighting the need for alternative analytical methods that ensure species identification. The aim of this work was to use of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for the identification and discrimination of B. pubescens and B. alternatus venoms and evaluate the suitability for diagnostic use. The two venoms were compared by SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF MS. The results showed similar protein profiles for both venoms with differences in the distribution of bands by SDS-PAGE densitometry. However, the use of the MALDI-TOF MS technique allowed discrimination between these two venoms, providing characteristic “fingerprints” that are proposed as a new tool suitable for clinical diagnosis.

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Keywords

  • Snake Venom
  • Densitometry
  • MALDI-TOF MS